As part of the exercise to have strict security and quality checks on all imported power supply system equipment, components and parts, the Ministry of Power has issued a notice making it mandatory to scan all such imports for presence of software that could compromise the security of the countrys critical installations.
Sources said that such checks have been incorporated particularly to check Chinese imports. The recent border flare up between India and China has severely dented the trust factor, and the government wants to ensure that any product coming from the neighbouring country is clean of malware and harmful embedded software.
The ministry has said that all imported power equipment will go through testing for presence of Trojans and harmful embedded software. Such testing will also have to be done by approved Indian laboratories designed for such activities.
Moreover, the import of such equipment from prior reference countries shall be done only after obtaining approval from the Power Ministry beforehand.
The ministry has identified the sector as sensitive and critical where cyber attacks have the potential to completely destabilise and cripple the country. So, checks at all levels would be maintained to first curb imports of equipment where India has established manufacturing capabilities.
The ministry said that this order applies to "any item that is imported for end-use or is used as a component, or as a part in manufacturing, assembling of any equipment or to be used in power supply system or any activity directly or indirectly related to the power supply system."
Recently, Power Minister R.K. Singh had said that the country wants to restrict all imports where domestic capabilities exist. And in areas where such imports are essential, they should not continue for more than 2-3 years before domestic capabilities are created.